Daughters of handicraftsman, sisters Merve and Beste Manastir grew up with an infatuation with handbags – so it was only natural for them to launch contemporary leather goods brand Manu Atelier in 2014.
Manu Atelier is a family business—can you tell us how the brand started, how your father’s involved and what it’s like working as sisters?
We were exposed to the raw talent of our father, one of Turkey’s oldest artisans, who created leather goods by hand at his atelier in Istanbul since he’s eleven years old. Our childhood passed by combining the vestigial leathers and by making miniature handbags with them. Handbag is the most tangible element of our childhood and infatuation with our father and his artisanship. Smell of the leather ties the past and the present for us… These were in existence both in our hearts and our minds while we were dreaming about this brand. In brief, the history of Manu Atelier has already started many years ago when we were yet two little girls; it was just born in February 2014.
Working as sisters has been and still is a great journey for us. At the beginning, it was more like discovering each other at work and it was more challenging. We had lots of arguments but in time we learned each other strengths and today we both can’t imagine doing this job alone or with someone else.